We have all heard that on hot days black clothing is your worst enemy, as it tends to absorb sunlight, making us have to endure more heat than we would feel if we used light-colored clothing. But is this a myth or a reality?
Well the answer is, yes and no. It is true that the color black absorbs the sun's rays, heating up more quickly and intensely than other colors. However, it is also true that much of the heat we feel does not come from the sun, but from our own body.
To explain it more simply, we will take the opposite of black: the color white. It bounces heat back, so it absorbs less energy from the sun. But on the other hand, white fabric does not absorb the heat produced by our own body but rather repels it, creating a kind of greenhouse effect between our skin and the garment that we are using.
With a white garment, body heat is trapped and reflected back onto the skin.
To feel less heat we must facilitate convection.
For practical purposes, convection is the dissipation of heat by the wind. As Arturo Quirantes, professor of physics at the University of Granada explains:
“We emit thermal energy. If we wear white clothes, the heat that we emit bounces off the fabric and cannot get out. On the other hand, if the fabric is black, it absorbs it. And if there is a breeze, it carries the heat away by convection, which is an efficient mechanism to keep us cool. "(1)
So why is it a good idea to wear black clothes on hot days?
1. It absorbs the heat produced by our body
Unlike white clothes, which concentrates the heat between our body and the garment.
2. It allows adequate convection
That is, it allows the air to keep us cool. If you live in a place with a lot of wind, wearing loose black clothes may be the solution in those days when you feel you melt.
3- Protects you from UV rays.
When the sun is very strong, a black garment protects your skin much better than a white garment.